Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: I need antifreeze and it looks like it's red, napa sold me green will it hurt to mix

asked by on

I was told not to mix colors due to it could cause an acid and eat at head gasket.

My car has 37000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello. The only antifreeze that should be u...

Hello. The only antifreeze that should be used in your car is that specified in the owner's manual and if not specified there, consult the OEM Factory Service Manual.

The consequences of mixing "different" coolants together - and different colors do signify different coolant chemistries - range from somewhat innocuous degradation in the service life of the corrosion packages in the coolant (thus necessitating more frequent drain intervals) to the creation of "gels" which could actually block the cooling system.

The chemical reactions involved are obviously way too detailed to get into here, but suffice it to say, whatever is added to the cooling system should be identical to that which is already in the vehicle, and hopefully what is already in the vehicle is that which is OEM specified. If not, drain everything, flush and refill.

Finally, I would not go by antifreeze manufacturer recommendations. I would instead consult the OEM specifications and instructions for antifreeze and follow those instructions.

Your question is an important one and shows you are on top of things and thinking ahead. If further maintenance concerns arise, or you need professional help with repairs, please contact YourMechanic. One of our mobile technicians can come to your home or office and top your vehicle off with the correct type of anti-freeze. Best of luck.

Was this answer helpful?
Recommended services
Get a Quote

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Antifreeze leaking into vehicle

If antifreeze is entering the cabin, the problem is the heater core or piping to the heater core. The heater core is inside your dashboard and if it is leaking, antifreeze will run downward onto the floorboards and eventually leak out...

Q: Car is idling at 1100 rpms

Hi, thanks for writing in. High engine idle can be caused by a number of different things. A stuck/binding throttle, vacuum leak, bad throttle position sensor, coolant or air flow sensor all can be the cause of a high idle...

Q: Interior electrical issues

Hello. From what you describe it would appear that your vehicle may be experiencing two different issues. If your dome light is functioning in all but one position then it may be possible that there is an issue with the...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...